Farmers to greet Prez with black flags
TIMES NEWS NETWORK
Nagpur: Even as security arrangements for President A P J Abdul Kalam's visit, which is scheduled for June 15, were finalised at a high-level meeting of officials on Friday, farmers' leader Kishore Tiwari has threatened to greet him with black flags at Yavatmal, the district known as the epicentre of the unending spate of farmer suicides in the region। Kalam is to visit Yavatmal and Wardha during the day-long Vidarbha tour. Divisional commissioner Anand Limaye, state protocol department's principal secretary B P Pandey, joint protocol officer Shailesh Bijoor, joint commissioner of police Sayyed Ahmed, special IGP (Nagpur range) Ashok Ghivre, Amravati additional commissioner S M Sarkunde, Nagpur police special branch ACP Arvind Giri, Yavatmal collector Abha Shukla, Wardha collector Eknath Khobragade and Nagpur additional collector Chintaman Dahalkar were present at the meeting. Kalam will reach next Friday at 10.30 am by a special flight and proceed to Yavatmal where he is to attend a function at Amolakchand college. Later he will proceed to Wardha where he is to visit the Mahatma Gandhi Hindi International University. He will return to Nagpur in the evening and attend a function at the National Academy of Direct Taxes before flying back to New Delhi. Tiwari, president of the Vidarbha Jan Andolan Samiti, has also written an open letter to the President. Regretting that Kalam or his office had failed to respond to the daily information being sent by e-mail about farmer suicides and agrarian crisis by the Samiti, Tiwari has urged Kalam to spare some time to hear the grievances of the wives of those farmers who ended their lives because of the economic distress. In a statement the Samiti has said the widows will stage a protest during the visit. More than 428 farmers ended their lives this year, taking the toll to more than 4,000 in the past five years, Tiwari said. Meanwhile, Chhatra Sangharsh Samiti has also sought to raise issues plaguing the international Hindi university before the President.